Only a Mother

by DanWolgemuth on December 19, 2008

Only a mother knows.

I am quite certain that as Mary wrapped her arms around Jesus for the very first time that she felt a cascade of emotions. Although she had watched and felt the change in her own body that affirmed the shocking words of the angel, now she was holding a baby, the baby, her baby, His baby. A mother, holding a baby that she had carried for nine months, has to be an experience like few others. A mother, who had just endured the uncertainty and pain of childbirth, now has her thoughts ignited in an explosion that the rest of us will never fully appreciate.

The freshness of the memories of childbirth is never buried too deeply in the heart of a mother. They may be dispatched for short journeys, but even a fleeting thought or a quick mental image can bring back the tenderness and power of the birthing experience.

I would guess that the avalanche of emotions that Mary felt in a stable in Bethlehem were no match for what she felt as she watched her son hang on a cross. I’m sure that in the swirl of activity, hatred, noise and violence that Mary was transported back to the manger. To the place where she was first introduced to her son. To the place where she first held Him.

She believed in the virgin birth. She believed in His sinless life. She believed in His miraculous power. She had lived all three.

But now she was being ushered to the front row of the revealed purpose of God’s atoning love; she was there for the stench, for the pain, for the grief, and yes, the grace.

It was in that moment, the moment of her deepest agony and pain that the Magnificat, the prayer of Mary in Luke 1, became our Magnificat. It was on the cross that we, His people were handed the lyrics to the chorus:

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant, for he has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

From Bethlehem to Calvary, from the lips of Mary to the heart of men, “My soul magnifies!”


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